AKP’s mayor-appointed governor under fire for mass dismissals

Mardin’s newly appointed senior Turkish government administrator Mustafa Yaman is again at the center of criticism – this time for his decision on the mass dismissal of municipal employees, pro-Kurdish news agency Mezopotamya (MA) reported on Thursday.

Yaman who is also the current governor has fired 150 workers from their jobs in the south-eastern province of Mardin where he was appointed for a second time as mayor, taking over the municipal administration from Ahmet Turk, from the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Turk was ousted for a second time and replaced by Yaman.

On August 19 Turkey’s interior ministry removed three HDP mayors of south-eastern cities including Mardin from their posts. This was part of a major terrorism-related investigation in which 418 HDP members have also been detained.

The sacked employees were reportedly working for the Mardin Water and Sewerage Administration (MARSU), an affiliated company of the Mardin Metropolitan Municipality.

The dismissal lists were allegedly prepared by a unit formed by the trustee Yaman, with the new lists being on the way.

Last week, Yaman was implicated in a scandal in which hundreds of thousands of municipal funds were used to buy jewelry for seniors from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

In May, MA had also reported that AKP’s governor Yaman had allegedly spent other millions from the municipal budget to pay for feasts, car rentals, accommodation, and gifts while hosting the AKP seniors during his first tenure as a mayor between 2016 and 2019.

The HDP’s 90 mayors had also been removed from their posts in the aftermath of a failed coup bid that targeted the AKP on July 15, 2016, due to similar terror-related charges.

Ankara claims that the HDP has links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed insurgent group fighting against the Turkish state for  Kurdish self-rule.

Most of the deposed mayors, including Turk, were again elected as mayors from the HDP ranks in the March 31 local elections.

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